Hole-in-the-Wall Foodie Finds are a Good Thing!
I traveled to New York for Thanksgiving again this year on behalf of our U.S. Potato Board client. Healthy MR. POTATO HEAD made his final run down Broadway in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was a bittersweet business trip as I had to say good-bye to our favorite spokespud but I also got to hang with potato industry members who were balloon handlers in the Parade. Getting to know the industry and their families is one of the great perks of my job.
I also dragged my family along, and following a week of fun in NYC, we headed upstate to Troy, NY to visit my grandmother and the rest of my mom’s family. There aren’t too many culinary hot spots in this old and charming college town, but my mom made sure we hit her three most memorable foodie finds. First, we had a traditional Friday night fish fry at Ted’s. A fish fry at Ted’s is a long and meaty piece of fried cod placed in a hot dog bun served with your choice of tartar sauce or Ted’s famous cocktail sauce (I preferred the tartar sauce and sans bun, but I’m not really a hot dog girl). We ordered sides of onion rings, fries and cole slaw. Far from healthy but delicious!
I know I just said I don’t love hot dogs, but our next stop was an exception. While cruising around showing the sites (there aren’t many) to my husband, we crossed the Hudson River into a town called Watervliet. Gus’s Hot Dogs is a true down-and-dirty hot dog stand. There is a walk-up window but it was too cold to slither down mini hot dogs outside. We walked inside and the six counter seats were packed, but one of the two booths were available. This was more of a mid-afternoon snack than a meal so we each ordered two hot dogs with “the works” – mustard, onions and chili sauce. The beauty of Gus’s is that the hot dogs are about a third of the size of a traditional hot dog. I can polish one in about four bites (my husband can do it in two, of course) and the works combination is truly a treat. We saw people with 10 or more hot dogs on their plates. The best is the pricing list posted on the wall.
Finally, we hit the Notty Pine, another Troy oldie-but-goodie that my parents used to frequent when they met in college over 30 years ago. We ordered the pizza which was served in a rectangular cookie sheet with a 1-inch lip. The crust was perfectly golden and the toppings were flavorful. The group was torn on our favorite. I enjoyed the pepperoni and sausage with a red sauce and others rallied behind the fresh tomato and basil with a white garlic sauce. Both were good and justify why “the Pine” has been open for so many years.
If you ever find yourself in Troy (why would you??), I’d recommend all three places. Tie and jacket not required.